It turns out Aussies have been getting around lots of erotic fiction during lockdown


The stats are in Australia and there’s no hiding now.

Ever wondered how your neighbours are keeping busy during lockdown? Well, some new intel from eBay Australia might provide the answers. But be warned, banana-bread baking and online pilates classes may not be all they’re up to.

With eBay Australia reporting a 423 per cent increase in erotic fiction sales, chances are there’s some spirited page-turning going on next door. While lockdown has us lamenting the days of Tinder and Bumble dates, it seems Aussies have found a new, albeit more analogue source for their, er, well, you know.

Alongside the announcement, eBay has revealed the books that most Australians are ordering to satisfy their needs. Naturally, Fifty Shades of Grey is among the most-bought, while Mills & Boon classics are also proving to be more popular than ever.

Perhaps a need for escapism coupled with the anonymity of online purchasing is behind the eBay spike. Sophie Onikul, eBay Australia’s Head of Communications, thinks us Aussies are a “sheepish nation that prefers to purchase erotic fiction online rather than face the person at the book shop.”

But it’s not just heart-throbbing tales we’re lusting after. With customers shelling out more than $9 million on books, the lockdown has seen a crazy increase in book sales across all genres.

Lockdown has clearly got us craving something new, and Sally Rooney’s Normal People is hitting the spot. Following the binge-worthy Stan series, the book is, unsurprisingly, topping the May sales charts.

But the extra downtime has also ignited our nostalgia flame. “Shoppers are returning to loved classics with J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series still casting a spell,” says Sophie.

Sophie believes that “getting lost in a good book is an ideal way to escape and destress during isolation”, and it looks like the rest of the country is with her there. Although, for many of us Aussies, a true escape apparently requires a certain kind of good, if you get what I mean.

Sophie also told us that “books are among the traditional hobbies that have all experienced a massive spike in sales.” What’s a traditional hobby I hear you say? Think board games, puzzles, model train sets and painting equipment.

It’s clear that people are looking for new ways to spend time at home, and with self-help book sales up by 113 per cent, we’re obviously spending wisely.

But if your version of self-help looks more like a Cooking Mama montage then you’re not alone. Cookbook sales are up by 100 per cent, and of course, Jamie Oliver is making the most of people’s sudden desire to spend more time in the kitchen with his aptly named Keep Cooking and Carry On cooking show.

Lots of Australians must’ve adopted this mantra because a selection of Jamie’s books have secured top spots in the cookbook charts.

Whether that steam coming from next door is the puff of a real-deal model train, the sign of a piping-hot Jamie’s special or the other kind of steamy moment, we can’t say. And apparently, that’s all part of the fun.

What we do know, however, is that lockdown’s rekindled our love for more traditional entertainment and that, for many, it’s not the only new flame that’s been lit.


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